Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The Crystal Cathedral: Center of Culture?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Aug 09, 2012

“We can create the most significant Catholic cultural center in the world outside of the Vatican.” Thus did Hank Evers of the Orange Catholic Foundation enthuse when visiting Catholic dignitaries toured the newly-purchased Crystal Cathedral in California.

Would that it were so easy! But a building does not make a cultural center, no matter how great the architecture, and no matter what you stuff it with. A center of culture is neither a symbol nor a center of artifacts (that would be a museum). It is a center of a vibrant, living, active and pervasive mode of living extended robustly through time.

One need only think of the largely irrelevant John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC. Let’s face it: Even in the Diocese of Orange, California, where there are certainly many good things, the natives still have a long way to go before they can claim to be second only to Rome.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($24,902 to go):
$150,000.00 $125,097.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 09, 2012 11:08 PM ET USA

    As a Catholic church, it is Ugly as Sin (as in the book). Most Catholics in OC didn't want it, nor the proposed one that preceeded this as a new cathedral. The bishop, now at retirement age, wants to leave a legacy. Unfortunately, this is just one more hideous Protestant structure that California is becoming more famous for (just look at the Oakland and Los Angeles cathedrals) -yuk!

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 09, 2012 9:50 PM ET USA

    We can do nothing in and of ourselves. At least that is the traditional understanding of the state of things. Thank you Dr. Mirus for the reality check. But that "Crystal Cathedral" does have a certain ring to it- doesn't it?

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Aug. 09, 2012 1:24 PM ET USA

    You are right about the JPII Center in Washington. What a white elephant! What a waste of time and money! I can't imagine what the new owners, the KofC, are going to do with it - and as a Knight, I'm not at all sure that's the best use of KofC money.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 09, 2012 12:32 PM ET USA

    I doubt that anyone acquainted with the Diocese of Orange would have a clear notion of what constitutes Catholic culture.

  • Posted by: Petronius - Aug. 09, 2012 12:21 PM ET USA

    Oy.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The cardinal who can't let go 5 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17